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Talking of Art Deco, as we were for the Valentine Parisienne post, did you know about this tunnel under the New Yorker Hotel?
The beautiful tunnel that ran from the lobby to Penn Station is still hidden underneath 34th Street.
I had a two-day window last week during which I could see rather better than usual. I read a book and created the piece below. Back to ‘normal’ now, though!
I blended and tweaked two images from Wikimedia. One is advertising a French event on 14th July 1915 in aid of The Great War. The other is a fashion illustration from Journal des dames et des modes, 1913, by H. Robert Dammy. Both are delightful in their own right but blending them together was a fascinating process and enhanced the Art Deco effect.
I can’t pretend it’s my favourite period in the history of the decorative arts when it comes to architecture and interior design but the fashion and illustration of the time has a place in my heart.
Take care and keep laughing!
Tamara Łempicka, commonly known as Tamara de Lempicka (16 May 1898 – 18 March 1980) was a Polish Art Deco painter and “the first woman artist to be a glamour star”. Influenced by Cubism, Lempicka became the leading representative of the Art Deco style across two continents, a favorite artist of many Hollywood stars, referred to as ‘the baroness with a brush’. She was the most fashionable portrait painter of her generation among the haute bourgeoisie and aristocracy, painting duchesses and grand dukes and socialites. Through her network of friends, she was also able to display her paintings in the most elite salons of the era. Lempicka was criticized as well as admired for her ‘perverse Ingrism’, referring to her modern restatement of the master Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, as displayed in her work Group of Four Nudes (1925) among other studies.
She was born Maria…
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Benjamin Lauder “Ben” Nicholson, OM (10 April 1894 – 6 February 1982) was a British painter of abstract compositions (sometimes in low relief), landscape and still-life.
Background and training
Ben Nicholson was born on 10 April 1894 in Denham, Buckinghamshire, the son of the painters Sir William Nicholson and Mabel Pryde, and brother to the artist Nancy Nicholson, the architect Christopher Nicholson and to Anthony Nicholson. His maternal grandmother Barbara Pryde (née Lauder) was a niece of the famous artist brothers Robert Scott Lauder and James Eckford Lauder. The family moved to London in 1896. Nicholson was educated at Tyttenhangar Lodge Preparatory School, Seaford, at Heddon Court, Hampstead and then as a boarder at Gresham’s School, Holt, Norfolk. He trained as an artist in London at the Slade School of Fine Art from 1910–1914, where he was a contemporary of Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer, Mark Gertler, and Edward Wadsworth.
Nicholson was married three times. His first marriage was to the painter Winifred Roberts; it took place on 5 November 1920 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church, London. Nicholson and Winifred had three children: a son, Jake, in June 1927; a daughter, Kate (who later also became a painter), in July 1929; and a son, Andrew, in September 1931. They were divorced in 1938. His second marriage was to fellow artist Barbara Hepworth on…
“Having a little fun at my work does not make me any less of an artist, and people who appreciate truly beautiful and original creations in pottery are not frightened by innocent tomfoolery.”
—Clarice Cliff [1899-1972]
For an excellent and comprehensive overview of Clarice Cliff’s work, read Stuart Shield’s original article that contains this quote.
Tamara De Lempicka is an artist whose work I wish were in the public domain so that I could sell it at First Night Vintage. Alas, she died in 1980 so that unless my business becomes a world-wide success in the near future (stranger things have happened!), I cannot afford to licence any of the images.
Born into a wealthy and prominent family, her father was a Polish lawyer, her mother, the former Malvina Decler, a Polish socialite. Maria was the middle child with two siblings. She attended boarding school in Lausanne, Switzerland, and spent the winter of 1911 with her grandmother in Italy and the French Riviera, where she was treated to her first taste of the Great Masters of Italian painting. In 1912, her parents divorced and Maria went to live with her wealthy Aunt Stefa in St. Petersburg, Russia. When her mother remarried, she became determined to break away to a life of her own. In 1913, at the age of fifteen, while attending the opera, Maria spotted the man she became determined to marry. She promoted her campaign through her well-connected uncle and in 1916 she married Tadeusz Lempicki in St. Petersburg; a well-known ladies man, gadabout, and lawyer by title, who was tempted by the significant dowry.… Read more…
Take care and keep laughing!